Huntsman's comment spurs debate in China
Following Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman's comment about what will 'take China down,' Chinese commentators debate what he meant.
He was ambassador here for a couple of years, so he ought to.
Mr. Huntsman also knows that anything anyone in his position says in America about China will be instantly published here, so he wonâ€™t have been too surprised to hear that his comments the other day at the Republican candidatesâ€™ foreign policy debate have sparked a bit of a debate in China too.
Asked about his China policy, Huntsman said something interesting, that â€śwe should be reaching out to our allies and constituencies within China. Theyâ€™re called the young people. Theyâ€™re called the internet generationâ€¦.and they are bringing about change the likes of which is going to take China down.â€ť
Whether he is right or wrong about this generation, some commentators here have taken his talk of â€śtaking China downâ€ť badly.
In China, Washington is widely believed to have stirred up the democratic â€ścolor revolutionsâ€ť in former Soviet satellites such as Ukraine and Georgia, and Huntsmanâ€™s comment is being seen in this context.
â€śMaking use of the internet to promote US values and then trigger political unrest can make the authorities lose control,â€ť argued Chen Bing, a news commentator on the popular Shenzhen satellite TV channel. â€śHuntsmanâ€™s is not a new idea.â€ť
There is also a widespread feeling that the United Statesâ€™ goal is to keep China down, and Huntsmanâ€™s remark has fed that fear.
â€śNo matter whether we are a dictatorship or a democracy, the US just wants to take down Chinaâ€™s manufacturing industry,â€ť claimed one blogger joining an online discussion of Huntsman's comment.
Others took the former ambassadorâ€™s point, and supported him. â€śIsnâ€™t it a good thing to take down Chinaâ€™s autocracy?â€ť asked one.
But Chinese observers are familiar enough with the American political process not to take anything they hear during a presidential campaign too seriously. â€śWhen Huntsman was ambassador he was comparatively friendly to China,â€ť pointed out Mr. Chen. Now he is a candidate â€śhe has to criticize China and talk about containing China if he wants to win.â€ť